During a recent clean-up, my sister came across a hand-embroidered shoulder dust cover our grandmother had made for our mother. I think that officially qualifies as 'vintage'! We both thought it was not only beautiful, but a great idea. We all have special clothing in our closet we may not wear often, but certainly don't want to give away. A whole garment bag seems like overkill if you need easy access to the outfit, yet you still would like to protect it between wearings. Our Shoulder Dust Cover is just right to keep dust and debris from settling along the shoulders of your special garments. Thanks, Grandma! I always knew you were super cool and ahead of your time.
Our thanks to Fashionable Fabrics, one of our Shopping Directory retailers, for providing the beautiful fabric for this project. We chose two fabrics for our samples, which look lovely together even though they come from two different designers: London by Dena Designs for Free Spirit Fabrics and Delighted by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs. Mixing and matching between collections is fun to do and a great reason to browse through the wonderful selection of unique fabrics at Fashionable Fabrics.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any Sewing Machine (we recommend the Janome DC1050)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Ingredients and instructions shown below are for ONE dust cover
- 1 yard of 44-45" wide printed fabric for the exterior; we used Delighted by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs in Blue Mosaic and London by Dena Designs for Free Spirit Fabrics in Blue Wakefield
NOTE: You might be able to get away with ¾ of a yard, but a full yard will allow you more flexibility for fussy cutting.
- 1 yard of 44-45" wide coordinating solid fabric for the lining; we used Bella Solids by Moda in Ivory
- 2 yards of ½" coordinating ribbon; we used a velvet ribbon in orange/red for the Delighted Blue Mosaic cover and a velvet ribbon in blue/gray for the London Blue Wakefield cover
- All purpose thread to match fabric and ribbon
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Tape measure
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Download and print the four pattern pieces: Shoulder Dust Cover Piece 1, Shoulder Dust Cover Piece 2, Shoulder Dust Cover Piece 3 and Shoulder Dust Cover Piece 4.
IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of FOUR 8½" x 11" sheets. You must print the PDF files at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page.
- Cut out each of the pattern pieces along the solid lines.
- Butt together the pattern pieces as shown on the templates to make one pattern piece. Do NOT overlap. Tape in place. This creates one half of the pattern, which is designed to be cut on the fold of the fabric.
NOTE: If it is easier for you or if you have chosen a design that requires very precise fussy cutting, you can print out, cut and assemble a second set of pieces in order to create one full pattern.
- Using your pattern, cut TWO pieces from the main exterior fabric (Blue Mosaic and Blue Wakefield in our samples) and TWO pieces from the lining fabric (Ivory Bella Solid in our samples).
- On all the pieces, snip into the seam allowance, through all the layers, at the dot shown on the pattern. Remember to make a snip on both sides of the center fold on each piece.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Press all your cut pieces so they are nice and flat.
- Place one lining piece right sides together with each exterior piece. Pin together along the long, straight bottom edge.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both pairs together along the long, straight bottom edge. Press the seam allowance towards the lining on each pair.
- Flip the lining up so the pieces are now wrong sides together. Roll the lining slightly until the exterior fabric just peeks out along the seamed edge. Press well.
- This will insure that only the exterior fabric shows along the bottom of the dust cover.
- Open both seamed pairs back out so they are flat. Place the flat pairs right sides together, exterior to exterior and lining to lining, and with the seams precisely aligned.
- On each side, pin and then stitch, using a ½" seam allowance, from the snip on the lining side to the snip on the print side, leaving the space between the snips open.
- Clip the corners, being careful to not cut through your seam. If you are new to this technique, clipping a curved seam allows it to stretch slightly so when you turn the piece right side out you have a smooth finished curve.
- Carefully pull the cover right side out through the opening in the lining.
- You now have a 'bag' with a small opening on both the exterior side and the lining side.
- Press under the raw edges of both the openings so they are flush with the sewn seams.
- Push the lining up inside the exterior and align the two openings. Re-press if need be to make sure the folded edges match up nicely.
- Topstitch the exterior and lining together through all the layers, staying as close to the fold as possible, along both sides of the opening. Then stitch forward and backward across each end of the opening to secure it, about three to four stitches should be enough. It's like you are making a big buttonhole.
- Use the nose of your ironing board to get a nice flat press all around the bottom edge.
NOTE: Don't worry about the lining being 100% flat at the top of the dust cover, just keep the bottom edge smooth and even. You want to make sure the lining is not peeking out below the exterior fabric anywhere along the bottom. That would be like a slip hanging below your skirt... oh-no!
- Measure up approximately 2½" from the bottom hemmed edge and draw a line with your fabric pen or pencil along both the front and the back of the dust cover.
- Using this line as your guide, pin the accent ribbon in place all around the cover. Start and stop the ribbon approximately 3" from the right side of what will be the front of your dust cover; this is where the bow will go, so you can hide your starting and ending point under the bow.
- Topstitch the ribbon in place with a single line of stitching down the center of the ribbon.
NOTE: With ½" ribbon, a single line of stitching is sufficient to hold it in place and is a easier seam, however, if you'd like to be extra fancy, you could use two lines of edgestitching instead.
- Make a small bow with the leftover ribbon and hand stitch it in place over the seam of the ribbon. You could also use a small safety pin to attach the bow.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever
Other machines suitable for this project include the Husqvarna Viking H-Class H10 and the Elna eXperience 520.